There’s little doubt that the respective positions are primarily being driven by anything other than political convenience, but recent events appear to have pushed Colorado’s appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet further to the Left on health care than Barack Obama.
Yes, let me repeat that: Michael Bennet has moved further Left than Obama on health care, essentially because the junior senator is eagerly talking about pushing the U.S. toward a government health care takeover while the President is at least backing away from the term “public option”.
Yes, the differences are largely semantic (the co-op idea is basically the “public option” with a different name), but also very telling about what to expect from Congress in the rest of 2009. Obama very well may go ahead with a health care bill without the “public option”, leaving Bennet free not to have to vote directly on the issue. He then can tell the Lefty base he supports it but without all of the same nasty consequences — political and otherwise.
While Colorado’s freedom-loving Republicans and independents spot an opportunity created by a Democrat primary challenge from Andrew Romanoff, it’s time to get serious about candidates who get what real health care reform is about. Ryan Frazier is a good place to start. (Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post writes: “Viva la Ryan Frazier”.)